PLYMOUTH — The tone was set early and reinforced often as Plymouth’s Rockies got a home win against Northern Lakes Conference foe Elkhart Memorial 35-6.
Plymouth had lost its last five home games going back to the 2011 season but dominated a conference opponent to pick up its first home win of the new season. It could be said that the game was pretty well decided in the first possessions for each team.
Coming into the contest the Crimson Chargers had just three points in the 2012 season but took the opening kickoff and put together a 65-yard drive that found them with a first and goal at the Plymouth 5 — almost before the home crowd could take their seats.
“I really think we needed to settle in a little bit,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “We put in a new scheme last week, and it takes some time to get acclimated to that. I really feel like that stop really set the tone and then in the second half Kyser (McCrammer) got a big pick to spur us.”
After “the stop”, there was “the drive”.
Plymouth took the ball at its own half-yard line in its first possession of the game and proceeded to drive for over seven minutes, 99 yards and a touchdown.
From there — as they say — it was all downhill. Especially for Rockie fullback Sam Stevens.
Earlier in the week Barron had stated that “…Sam can beat you by himself…” and the senior made a prophet of his head coach. Stevens scored on a 9-yard run on that first drive, just the harbinger of things to come. He ended the night with 289 yards on 25 carries and scored four touchdowns, including scoring runs of 31 and 77 yards to go with a pair of two-point conversions.
“Sam was just being Sam, and until they stop him we’re just going to keep feeding him the ball,” said Barron. “We got some great blocking up front and our offensive coordinator Mike Kershner deserves a lot of credit too.”
“Our linemen are really big and they work really hard,” said Stevens of those who paved the way for his big night. “They did a great job tonight.”
Plymouth (3-2, 2-1 NLC) is at home again next week against NLC foe Wawasee. Elkhart Memorial (0-5) will be at home with a non-conference game against South Bend Clay.
• PLYMOUTH 25,
ELKHART MEMORIAL 6
Score by Quarters
Elk. Mem.: 0 6 0 0 — 6
Plymouth: 6 6 23 0 — 35
P — Sam Stevens 9 yd run (Jacob Frantz kick blocked), 1:12
P — Stevens 15 yd run (Ike Kastner rush failed). 5:46
EM — Dimetri Chatman 6 yd pass from Blake Kramer (Kendall kick blocked), 0:24
P — Stevens 31 yd run (S. Stevens rush), 8:26
P — Stevens 77 yd run (S. Stevens rush), 4:24
P — J. Drudge 17 yd run (J. Frantz kick), 2:09
RUSHING: (Elkhart Memorial 24 for 74 yards) Kramer 8-36; Troutman 6-17; Slone 6-11; Vaughn 4-10. (Plymouth 45 for 392) S. Stevens 25-289; J. Drudge 3-36; I. Kastner 7-33; E. Eads 4-16; C. Bastardo 1-9; K. Lacefield 3-8; J. LaFree 2-1.
PASSING: Elkhart Memorial-Kramer 18-28-2-145; Trowbridge 0-2-0-0; Platz 0-1-0-0. Plymouth-I. Kastner 3-5-0-9.
RECEIVING: Elkhart Memorial-Chatman 11-119; Rickey 2-18; Platz 2-8; Youngs 1-7; Troutman 1-minus 3; Slone 1-minus 4. Plymouth-E. Eads 2-11; D. Brooke 1-minus 2.
Tackles: Kyser McCrammer 6, John Stillson 5, Vincente Vasquez 5
Records: Plymouth 3-2, 2-1 NLC; Elkhart Memorial 0-5 (0-4 NLC)